Girls make grade again in Junior Cert results
The girls once again led the way with top grades in this year's Junior Cert.
A gender breakdown of the results in higher level papers shows that female candidates had more A grades in all subjects, except maths, metalwork and environmental and social studies.
Across the wider spectrum of ABC results, the girls were also to the front in all subjects, except for environmental and social studies.
The pattern was the same with the new-style English assessment, with 2.7pc of girls at higher level achieving a distinction (90pc-100pc), compared with less than 1pc of boys.
At ordinary level, some 4.5pc of girls achieved a distinction, compared with less than 2pc of boys.
It is hoped that junior cycle reform, and the new, more interactive approaches to teaching and learning that it involves, will be of benefit to boys.
However, it may take some time to see whether that is the case.
The phenomenon of girls outperforming boys in such exams is an international one, and is attributed to a number of factors.
Research by the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) suggests that one reason girls do better in exams is that when they are young they are more likely to engage in activities such as music, reading and drama, which boost cognitive skills and enhanced attitudes to school.